Phoenix Family News

April 16, 2021

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Important Dates Ahead...

  • April 16: VCES Virtual Bingo Night, 6:00 pm -
  • April 23: No School, K-5 Prep Day
  • April 26: No School, K-5 Professional Development Day

MCA Dates:
  • April 27-30: Reading MCA for 3rd-5th grade
  • May 3-7: Math MCA for 3rd-5th grade
  • May 10-14: Science MCA for 5th grade

VLA MCA Dates:

  • April 30: Reading MCA 9:30-12:00
  • May 7: Math MCA 9:30-12:00
  • May 14: Science MCA 9:30-12:00

Calendar and Schedule Updates

The latest calendar updates are available at

A Note from the Principal

Our hearts are heavy and saddened once again in our greater twin cities community. The death of Daunte Wright comes less than a month after the senseless murder of eight people in Georgia, six being Asian Americans, and while in the midst of the Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd.

​As we begin to try and process this tragic loss in our community, we as a school family would like to express and acknowledge the pain and difficulty of these recent tragic events. Each of us processes and works though big emotions tied to these events in different ways. During this time it is more important than ever that we offer our greater Valley Crossing school family our support and solidarity. At school we will continue the work of honoring and celebrating each child for who they are, and we are offering our support to our students and our extended school families. We stand beside each student, staff, and our Valley Crossing families.

It is my commitment to you that I will always work for all of our students to feel safe and supported at Valley. I’ve included some resources below that may be helpful in supporting your child. Lastly, please know that you are welcome to reach out to me at any time with questions or concerns at or 651-425-7503.

Lucky Ducks!

We just wanted to include the Lucky Ducks again this week if your child wants to bring more Lucky Ducks to staff at school! For our VLA students, feel free to take a picture and send it to your teacher through SeeSaw!

PTA Kindness Challenge Fundraiser

We are excited to announce the kickoff of the Valley Crossing Kindness Challenge (our Spring fundraiser)! All students that gather a donation of ANY AMOUNT will receive a VCES Kindness Wristband. There will be fun school wide incentives, prize drawings and classroom prizes. Click HERE for more information (link to flyer). Watch for a paper copy coming home with your child!!

Login to Get Movin to register, share with friends/family and make online donations. Donations will be used to enrich the learning opportunities at Valley as well as support the needs of staff and students.

Student Council Virtual Bingo is TONIGHT!

If you have registered your student to participate in Bingo tonight, they should have already received their bingo cards at school. There are 4 cards and each have a different color. We'll play different games based on the color of the board.

Blue: Vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines

Orange: 4 corners only

Green: Same as blue game

Yellow: blackout

There will be 10 winners per round! If you have a bingo the number to call is 651-425-7617 to verify your numbers. Students that win will be asked to turn in their bingo card to school with their name and homeroom written on it. Here is the link to tune-in at 6:00 pm:

MCA Testing is Coming Soon...

We want to remind families that students should get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast on our MCA testing days. Students must bring their own charged devices and headphones for MCA testing. Students will not be allowed to have digital watches, fitness trackers, cell phones, or other technology devices, so please leave these items at home. Due to health and safety related requirements, and to maintain focus on instructional time, additional testing times will not be scheduled outside of the dates & times shared by schools and/or classroom teachers. This may impact families that take vacations, students who are sick, or students who are in quarantine during the designated times for testing. Homebase teachers will be sharing their individual testing times with families soon, if they have not already done so. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Final Day for VLA Book Checkout!

Big thanks to all of our VLA families who have been utilizing our contactless book checkout option! There are 2 remaining opportunities for our VLA families to request library books.

  • Students may request up to 3 books the week leading up to the Friday pickup date.
  • Books need to be requested by Thursday for pickup on Friday.
  • Books will be labeled with the student’s name on a cart outside the front entrance to the building.
  • Between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm, families can walk up, grab the books, and enjoy at home!
  • Books can then be returned at the next Friday pick-up, or dropped off on the black cart in the front entryway at any time.
  • Dates of Friday VLA Book Checkout Pickups are below
    • April 23
    • All books should be returned during the month of May.
  • Instructions for how to place books on hold are below!

Destiny Discover Online Catalog

How To Request Books (Written Instructions)

How to Request Books (Video Instructions)

Please contact Ms. Lanners, Media Specialist, ( if you have further questions.

Illnesses, Absences and Quarantines

  • Please be sure to call in to our attendance line to report absences or illness: 651-425-7506

  • Any sick student who is sent to school, or is determined to be sick during the school day, will immediately be sent home.

  • The 14-day quarantine period will remain in place. If staff or students had close contact with an infected person, the Minnesota Department of Health may direct us to keep them out of school for a minimum of 14 days.
  • If your student is in quarantine due to a school-related exposure and you received a district quarantine letter, you do not need to call attendance every day.
  • If a family member has symptoms, please keep your child home from school. You can call the office to report the absence and our school nurse will explain the next steps based on your situation.

  • If anyone in your household has a pending Covid test due to having symptoms, we ask that everyone stays home until the results come back.

  • Please do not enter the building if you or anyone in your household is ill or tested positive for Covid. We can provide contactless delivery of materials or walk students out to be picked up, if need be.

  • We ask that families be prepared for the possibility that their child’s class could move to distance learning at any time due to a potential COVID-19 exposure.

  • We acknowledge that families may be frustrated, but we ask that our staff be treated with respect. They cannot change a student’s quarantine period.

  • If you have questions, please call our Health Office at 651-425-7502.

A Note from Dr. Gervais, School Social Worker

    • Please view my schedule and availability online at
    • Resources for Families - District 833 has a website that will link you to a variety of resources from food, mental health, and unemployment and so much more. Bookmark this page for future use:
    • Snacks - Thank you to those families that have donated snacks for our students. Your generosity is greatly appreciated! Our goal is to ensure no student goes hungry. We welcome healthy, individually wrapped, and nut-free snacks until the end of the school year.

    Vacations and Other Extended Absences

    When students return to in person learning, teachers will not be posting Seesaw activities or provide live streaming for students who are on vacation or other extended absences. Homework packets and/or assignments will be put together similar to years past (non-COVID school years). If you have any questions, please contact me at or 651-425-7503.

    VCES Information Links

    VCES Contact Information

    Connha Classon, Principal: / 651.425.7503

    Kristine McDonald, Assistant Principal: / 651.425.7523

    Merita LaPlante, Office Coordinator: / 651.425.7501

    Jen Gackstetter, Office Assistant: / 651.425.7507

    Jen Gervais, Social Worker: / 651.425.7542